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The Ziering Curse


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The Ziering Curse is a television phenomenon that basically states:

In the cast of almost every long-running television show, there's one actor whose career is destined to die with the show.

That actor is The Ziering.

The curse is named for actor Ian Ziering, who starred as Steve Sanders through the entire 10-season run of "Beverly Hills, 90210." Since I never saw more than five minutes of that show ever, I have no idea who he is. Since "90210" left the air in 2000, Ziering's career has been limited to voice work in cartoons like "The Mighty Ducks."

Some other famous Zierings:

Philip Michael Thomas - Ricardo Tubbs on "Miami Vice"

Joyce De Witt - Janet Wood on "Three's Company"

Donny Most - Ralph Malph on "Happy Days"

Tina Yothers - Jennifer Keaton on "Family Ties"

Donna Douglas - Elly May Clampett on "The Beverly Hillbillies"

The entire cast of "The Facts of Life"

I'm sure you can think of others.

This season, two long-running shows are calling it quits - "Frasier" and "Friends" - and for an unlucky few, Ziering status is inevitable.

Who will disappear from sight only to turn up occasionally on made-for-tv movies on Lifetime?

My vote would be Kelsey Grammer and Courtney Cox.

Time will tell.

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Oh, let's see...

Dylan McDermott on The Practice.

Camryn Manheim on The Practice.

The guy who plays Eugene on The Practice.

The guy who plays Jimmy the Grunt on The Practice.

The lead actor on Smallville

The entire cast of Enterprise.

Patricia Heaton and that tall goofy guy on Everybody Loves Raymond.

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Its typically the case in television series

that only a minority of the actors on a given

show wind up with a significant, visible career

so there are many "Ziering"s out there.

Also keep in mind that its entirely possible

for character actors to be well compensated

for various roles to the extent that they might

not need to work and given the fiercly competitive and political nature of show business many are happy to get those residual

checks and live out the rest of their lives

doing whatever.

Obviously there are some who never made the

big money and had to transition to other more

traditional forms of employment. Plus there

are drugs and other distractions which might make certain actors unemployable or at the least

very hard to work with hence they aren't extended invitations for other gigs.

A clear minority of all registered Screen Actor

Guild members actually make a complete living

off of ONLY acting. Most have to supplement their

income with side jobs.

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It is amazing how much money an actor can make if they do make it to network TV though, i.e. Billy Gray who played the son on FATHER KNOWS BEST. I remember seeing him on some talk show DECADES after his show had gone off the air, and he was living quite comfortably off his earnings and residuals from that one gig. Incredible. And that wasn't even in the era of the really high-paid actor. This was a '50s sitcom!

Anyway, my vote for this coveted award goes to that gimp David Schwimmer from FRIENDS. Gawd, he's annoying...

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Future people we forget:

Perry Gilpin (Roz) on Fraiser

Dafney on Fraiser

The same people Raf said from "The Practice"


Matt LeBlanc (Joey even though he is to be in a spin off)

David Schwimmer

Courtney Cox


Julia Louise Dryfus

George Kastansa (Whats-his-name)

Kramer (Richard whatever)

Past forgottens:

The minister guy on MASH

All the roommates of Alan Alda on MASH

All of the WALTON KIDS except John Boy

The son on Married with Children

Marcy on Married with Children

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